The verse format works surprisingly well for this story; Anji’s voice is fresh, strong, and concise, and the author offers poetic images and language along the way. Some stories of abuse devote many pages to describing the abuse itself, but Meminger instead concentrates on showing how therapy works, revealing Cathy’s caring, careful questions and comments, and the support that Anji receives from other girls. Meminger also effectively shows how Cathy helps Anji to find her emotional truth: “no one really actually hurt me / like, I wasn’t violently raped or anything / some girls are //
Cathy’s words are soft, / and yet here you are / with me.”
A well-told, affecting story that beautifully demonstrates the healing process.
This straightforward and ultimately reassuring novel reads like an older Sikh version of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret and will fill a niche in any school or library.
Debut novelist Meminger raises complex questions of identity, but avoids moralizing or spelling out answers for readers, who will likely be hooked as Samar takes a second look at her relationships, boyfriend, friends and family, while seeking a better understanding of herself.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:
Meminger's debut book is a beautiful and sensitive portrait of a young woman's journey from self-absorbed naivete to selfless, unified awareness.
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:
With a few simple sentences, Meminger reveals the complexity of religious observance, how personal it is, with shades of gray. A lesser book would have turned this into a didactic message.
What made Jazz in Love most enjoyable . . . was the narration, which reminded me a bit of Meg Cabot both in its humor and how Jazz remained endearing even when you know she’s making a mistake.
Meminger offers a fascinating window into Punjabi-American lives that also weaves in cultural information seamlessly...Readers who share the cultural background of the characters will recognize the generational divide between traditional parents and children who have adopted the ways of the new country, as well as the diverse experiences of an Indian diaspora that includes England and the Caribbean.
Where Meminger succeeds is...in her characters, who shatter every norm in the book and then some, and are kickass and lovable besides. Meminger knows what makes teen girls tick, and she makes us believe it every step of the way.
CANADIAN CHILDREN'S BOOK NEWS:
Neesha Meminger’s third novel, Into the Wise Dark, is rich in languid tones and emotional fragility, particularly when she’s describing Pammi’s connection to Zanum and her boyfriend Dhan. Indeed, it is one of the best sex scenes I’ve read in a long time, describing the passion, fear, and all-encompassing joy of first love, without the clichés... [T]he novel’s lyrical rhythms give the reader a sense of history, ancient Goddess spirituality and the emotional turmoil of Pammi’s experience. Inspired by South Asian mysticism and history...this rich tapestry of experience [shows] the multicultural reality of our modern world.
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